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July 11th, 2023

NDP calls to extend repayment deadline on CEBA loans for thousands of small businesses

OTTAWA – On Monday, NDP Small Business and Tourism Critic Richard Cannings sent a letter to the Minister of Finance calling on her to extend the deadline for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans, as small businesses who relied on these loans during the pandemic have faced a slow recovery with the cost-of-living crisis. Small businesses have been struggling with supply chain issues, high grocery and heating costs, the rising cost of rent and mortgages, and now, the Bank of Canada may be raising interest rates yet again later this week. Cannings says its imperative small businesses have more time to repay their loans.

“Small business owners across Canada have done everything right, but they’ve been hit with one thing after another. It’s nearly impossible for business owners to keep up with their rent or mortgages on top of their regular operating costs,” said Cannings. “The owners of these businesses, their workers, and the local communities they serve all rely on these businesses keeping their doors open. So the government needs to be helping out, not forcing small business owners to dig even deeper into costly debt.”

CEBA needs to be repaid by the end of the year if owners are to still be eligible for a 33 per cent loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 and avoid five per cent interest on the outstanding loan. But, if forced to pay now, nearly 250,000 small businesses could be at risk of closing their doors. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has been calling on the government to move the repayment deadline for CEBA. Of its members, 78 per cent say that getting an extension will help them survive. But so far, the Liberals have made no commitments.

“For the last few years, Canadians have watched as the Liberals have bailed out their rich friends without even second guessing it,” said Cannings. “The Liberals have handed out billions of dollars to big oil and gas companies, they refuse to put an excess profit tax on corporate giants making record profits, and they even helped Loblaws buy freezers! But still haven’t committed to delaying these loan repayments. And Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives care more about what benefits big business and wealthy CEOs than local shops and enterprises in our towns.

New Democrats believe that small businesses are the backbone of Canadian economy, and their owners deserve a break to help them stay afloat. So, the NDP is calling on Minister Freeland to extend the CEBA repayment deadline, giving small businesses a shot at making it through the inflation and cost of living crisis. It’s the least the government could do to help during these difficult times.”